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Photography Tips & Tricks
Take better photos with inspiration and advice from the experts.
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Shopping for Digital Cameras
Types of Digital Cameras
A good way to start your search for the best digital camera for your lifestyle is to identify what types of photos you'll likely be taking, and what you'll be doing with them. When you think of the best digital cameras for sale, you're likely thinking of DSLR cameras, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, that can be used with interchangeable lenses, and allow advanced exposure control for creative results limited only by the photographer's imagination. DSLRs have a mirror that allows you to look through the lens as you compose your image, and they are renowned for providing quality results in low light situations.
Mirrorless cameras have become quite popular in recent years for casual hobbyists, advanced amateurs and others serious about photography who don't require a professional digital camera. These cameras have many features in common with DSLR cameras, but are smaller, lighter, less bulky, and without the mirror. They can also be used with separate mirrorless lenses. Point and shoot cameras are all about ease of use. They're more compact than the other two types, they're lighter and easier to carry, and they're more affordable. They have permanently attached lenses, so they don't allow manual control of key settings like shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
Maybe the best camera for you is an action camera, designed to attach to helmets, surfboards, cars and bikes, for instance, to chronicle point of view adventures. GoPro and Sony make some of the more popular action cameras available.
Digital Camera or Smartphone Camera?
Cameras in many of the latest smartphones offer consistent quality photos and are extremely convenient since many people always have their phones with them. With a smartphone camera, there is also the benefit of instantly sharing your photos with family or friends. On the other hand, even low-end point and shoot cameras offer more photo-taking versatility than smartphones, including real zoom and other lens manipulation. Though some smartphones have manual controls so you can fine-tune photo exposure, many do not, and poor results in low light situations are not uncommon.
You may want a combination of these camera types, in order to have all eventualities covered. For instance, your smartphone can be ideal for handling photo opportunities that come up on the spur of the moment. On the other hand, if you're on a safari in Africa taking a photo of a lion, you'll be better off utilizing the zoom on a DSLR camera than moving in close enough to line up the shot with your smartphone.